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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 11, 2012

On May 11, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference.

Q: It is reported that two bomb blasts took place in Syrian capital Damascus, causing heavy casualties. How does China comment? How does China view the current situation in Syria?

A: Opposing terrorism and violence in all forms, China strongly condemns the terrorist bomb attacks in Damascus yesterday and expresses deep condolences to the bereaved families.

At present, the political settlement of the Syrian issue is facing an important opportunity. All parties in Syria should earnestly fulfill their commitment to ceasefire and end of violence, and implement relevant Security Council resolution and the six-point proposal of Annan immediately and comprehensively. The international community should resolutely oppose any act of plotting terrorist attacks and breaking the ceasefire, and make joint efforts to ease tension and promote the political settlement of the issue.

Q: Some Philippine people held protests outside the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines over the Huangyan Island incident. How does China comment?

A: The Huangyan Island is China's inherent territory. The Philippine side's incitement of its people to launch demonstrations and protests against China is an erroneous move which will amplify and complicate the situation. We are following closely the security environment of Chinese citizens in the Philippines, and have demanded the Philippines to take effective measures to safeguard security and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and institutions there. We hope that the Philippine side will take concrete actions to respect China's territorial sovereignty in earnest, and refrain from any act that might escalate the situation.

Q: Given the simmering situation over the Huangyan Island, does China believe that the Philippine side should pay for its provocations?

A: The Huangyan Island incident was completely caused by Philippine military vessels' harassment of Chinese fishermen. I would like to stress again that the Huangyan Island is China's inherent territory and the Philippines must respect China's sovereignty and refrain from any act that might amplify and complicate the situation. We urge the Philippines to meet us half way and continue to stick to a settlement through diplomatic consultation. We will follow closely the developments of the situation and the actual actions of the Philippines.

Q: The Huangyan Island has drawn international attention, and India today called upon both China and the Philippines to exercise restraint. How does China respond to that?

A: The Huangyan Island is China's inherent territory, and China's will and resolve to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering. The current situation over the Island was caused by Philippine military vessels' harassment of Chinese fishermen and the responsibility lies with the Philippine side. China's position of resolving the incident through diplomatic consultation remains unchanged. We urge the Philippines to show sincerity and meet us half way, respond to China's concerns in earnest, and refrain from any act that might escalate the situation.



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